An Analysis Of Margaret Talbot's 'The Best In Class'

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SOAPSTone By: Reilley Graves Date: 10/19/14 Subject: The subject of Margaret Talbot’s “The Best in Class” is that the system that stands today for choosing who will be valedictorian is causing many problems in students’ lives. Some problems the author believes this current flimsy system is causing that students are cheating, allowing ties between multiple qualified students, and anxiety among students, parents, and teachers. In the essay, the authors says, “I wanted to make sure the school knew how traumatic something like this could be-thinking you’re competing under on set of rules, and having and expectation because of that, and find out your competing under another.” This quote proves that this weak system is missing with these high…show more content…
This is shown in the essay when the author says, “Like spelling bees, the contest for valedictorian offers a pleasing image of a purer meritocracy, in which learning and performing by the rules leave one hard-working person standing. It seems sad to abolish the tradition – and faintly ridiculous to honor too large of a group.” The author is addressing the audience who is questioning if there should only be on valedictorian or multiple. The author is stating her opinion on the issue and says that it would be silly to honor a large group of valedictorians. The authors implicit audience for the essay is people who are unaware of what students do to become valedictorians. The authors implicit audience is shown when the author states, “I recently spoke to some students who had been involved in legal actions over the naming of a valedictorian, and they seemed to share a common attitude toward the experience.” This shows the implicit audience how important the naming of valedictorian is to many students. That they would take legal actions just to be on…show more content…
In the essay the author shows this purpose when she says, “But now the contenders for the valedictorian title, especially at large, top-performing suburban high schools, are numerous and determined. Many schools offer AP courses—and sometimes honors and IB classes… Students fill their schedules with A.P. classes, as the ambitious ones tend to do…” This shows how the students who want to become valedictorian add on extra classes and therefore adding stress to themselves. This also shows that students compete against one another to be on top. Speaker: Margaret Talbot, a women living in the twenty first century, believes that students are stressed and feel a lot of pressure to become valedictorian. This implicit presumption about what the audience accepts is illustrated by, “In 2002, Audrey Lin, one of Missions San Jose;s many valedictorians, admitted that she had cheated to get to the top in high school, and gave back her valedictorian plaque.” This shows that Lin felt the pressure of staying on top that she cheated. The author would not have put this in her essay if she didn’t believe that’s what Lin was feeling in high

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